Title: Team improvement in the UEFA Champions League: an application of data envelopment analysis

Authors: Manuel Espitia-Escuer; Lucía Isabel García-Cebrián

Addresses: Departamento de Dirección y Organización de Empresas, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, University of Zaragoza, Gran Vía, 2-50005 Zaragoza, Spain ' Departamento de Dirección y Organización de Empresas, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, University of Zaragoza, Gran Vía, 2-50005 Zaragoza, Spain

Abstract: Football teams, when considered as economic organisations, are expected to achieve their objectives without consuming excess resources. Put another way, they must produce their products and services efficiently. In this study, we calculate efficiency on the playing field for teams in the UEFA Champions League between 2003 and 2012. We do this not only with an aim of separating the efficient and inefficient teams, but also to propose a way for inefficient teams to become more efficient. To this end, we use data envelopment analysis to calculate efficiency ratios. From those results, we calculate improvement percentages that we then use as a basis for team management recommendations. We find that no single input is to blame for inefficiency. The general recommendation for inefficient teams is to use fewer attacking plays.

Keywords: team efficiency; football teams; soccer teams; data envelopment analysis; DEA; improvement percentages; UEFA Champions League; team improvement; team management; attacking players.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2016.077927

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2016 Vol.16 No.3/4/5/6, pp.172 - 197

Available online: 22 Jul 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article